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Thursday, March 11

End to transitional period for citizenship applications


Internal Affairs Minister Nathan Guy is reminding permanent residents that citizenship requirements are changing soon.

"From 21 April all permanent residents who apply for citizenship must have been in New Zealand for five years, rather than three," said Mr Guy.

"In 2005 the period was extended to five years, but a transitional window was created where some people could still apply under the old three year requirement. This period is now ending.

"Becoming a New Zealand citizen is an important milestone in people's lives, and I don't want to see people losing their eligibility for up to two years because they missed the deadline.

"Eligible people who want to be considered under the old three year rule must ensure that their application is received by the Department of Internal Affairs' Citizenship Office by 20 April 2010," said Mr Guy.

People are eligible to qualify for the three year period if they were permanent residents before 21 April 2005, or had their successful application for permanent residency accepted by Immigration New Zealand before that date.

Applications can be sent by post or delivered to offices in Wellington, Auckland and Christchurch.

More information, including an online calculator, is available at www.citizenship.govt.nz